Boots to Business: Highlighting Veteran Startup Opportunities

Today’s post is the first of a series that will focus on or highlight entrepreneurship opportunities when leaving the military. Have you ever considered starting a business when leaving the military? Maybe it’s a genuine startup or a nonprofit. You’re not alone — veterans own about 7.2% of the nation’s businesses with employees. Today we will take a look at a few of the programs available to help you if starting a business is something you see as one of your short term goals!

BOOTS TO BUSINESS

The small business administration recognizes the importance of veteran owned businesses and created the Boots to Business program. The program includes a two day course as part of the military’s transition assistance program which is transitioning to an online format in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The program is open to Active Duty, National Guard, and their spouses. While the program provides a cursory overview of some aspects of starting a business, I recommend you take a look at some of the entrepreneurship courses on Coursera as well. Coursera offers a number of courses for free and even offers a few courses on entrepreneurship from the Wharton School of Business.

Take a look at the Boots to Business Fact Sheet on the Small Business Administration’s Website (pictured above)

Veteran Entrepreneurship Investment Program

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s PENFED foundation offers an additional program for Veteran startups called the Veteran Entrepreneurship Investment Program or VEIP. The program has helped 120 veteran owned startups since 2018 through fundraising programs, education, and mentoring. The program offers a due diligence boot camp with a six week program that focuses on the following.

  • Week 1: Traction
  • Week 2: Accounting
  • Week 3: Financials
  • Week 4: Legal
  • Week 5: Pitching
  • Week 6: Investor Meetings

The program is now taking applicants for its fall 2020 cohort.

Street Shares Foundation

The Street Shares Foundation is a nonprofit aimed at supporting military entrepreneurship through access to capital, mentorship, education, and coaching. The program has educated over 5,000 veterans on various aspects of entrepreneurship and provides grants to those winning the Veteran’s Small business Award. If you’re looking to apply for a grant, donate, or vote, take a look here. I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

Are you a veteran with a small business that would like to share your story? Please email us at the email provided below so we can share your story!

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